Dove soap bar, Author Felipe Micaroni Lalli (Dove.jpg email@example.com) (CC BY-SA 2.5 Generic)
Dove soap, a Unilever brand, has launched a campaign in Canada to highlight the extent to which social media harms the self-esteem of pre-teen girls [1A][2A].
The campaign derives from a survey which showed that 80% of young girls already by the age of 13 use photo editing filters or apps to improve their image before posting a “selfie” online [1B].
Instructions in Parenting
The soap company urges parents to “have the selfie talk” with their children, and explain how image manipulation creates unrealistic beauty standards [1C][2B].
How low have we sunk when a soap company must instruct us in parenting? And how likely is it that our children will do as we say, rather than as we, ourselves, do?
Increased Vulnerability to Abuse
The messages we send are getting through to our children loud and clear. Only appearance matters. You are not adequate as you are. It is necessary and appropriate to present a false image to others.
These message not only warp our children’s ideals of beauty and damage their self-esteem. They increase our children’s vulnerability to abuse.
Children crave acceptance and approval. When those are not forthcoming from their parents, children seek them elsewhere – a fact of which online predators are fully aware.
That longing by children is the basis for grooming (the approach sexual predators take to induce a child to engage in suggestive activity online or risk a face-to-face meeting).
Children with low self-esteem have little resistance to the flowery compliments and false professions of love these predators routinely employ.
It can hardly be a surprise when our children fall prey to such ploys, if we have set the scene for them.
“Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood” (Rev. 22: 15 ESV).
[1A, 1B, and 1C] Marketing Drive, “Dove urges parents to have the ‘selfie talk’ about harmful effects of social media” by Robert Williams, 4/21/21, https://www.marketingdive.com/news/dove-urges-parents-to-have-the-selfie-talk-about-harmful-effects-of-socia/598762/.
[2A and 2B] Newswire, “It’s Time to Have the Selfie Talk – New Dove Self-Esteem Project Research Finds 80% of Canadian Girls Are Using Photo Editing Apps by the Age of 13”, 4/20/21, https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/it-s-time-to-have-the-selfie-talk-new-dove-self-esteem-project-research-finds-80-of-canadian-girls-are-using-photo-editing-apps-by-the-age-of-13-866468860.html.
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